“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was “thank you,” that would suffice. ”
A Thanksgiving Prayer
O God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me to remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer,
help me to destroy my complacency;
bestir my compassion,
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted.
Images of praying hands and Thanksgiving dinner via Wikimedia Commons.
“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.”
On Thursday, millions of Americans (citizens and permanent residents alike) — of all faiths — will gather with family and friends to give thanks for the blessings of life. There is a lot to be thankful for. And, to those of us who will be enjoying a bountiful Thanksgiving feast, we should bow our heads in sincere and humble gratitude.
Not everyone will be as fortunate. Missions, food banks, and shelters will be overwhelmed with people seeking a Thanksgiving meal. They will rely on the kindness of strangers — people like you and I, who donate food and money to organizations that exist for no other reason than to feed the hungry in our respective communities.
“For it is in giving that we receive.”
— St. Francis
So, as you fill up your pantries with festive food, please remember to keep some aside to share with those in need. If you can, volunteer an hour or two of your time to serve meals at your local mission. The staff could really use your help. There are more hungry and homeless people this year than last year.
And, if you know someone who is suffering financially or who will be all alone this Thanksgiving, why not set an extra place setting at your dinner table and extend some hospitality? A little humanity will go a long way.
After all, isn’t that what Thanksgiving is about?
A Thanksgiving Prayer
In the spirit of humility we give thanks for all that is.
We thank the great spiritual beings who have shared their wisdom.
We thank our ancestors who brought us to where we are now.
We are grateful for the opportunity to walk this planet,
to breathe the air,
to taste the food,
to experience sensations of a human body/mind,
to share in this wonder that is life.
We are grateful for the natural world that supports us,
for the community of humankind that enables us to do many wonderous things.
We are grateful that we are conscious,
that as intelligent beings we can reflect upon the many gifts we have been given.
— Tom Barrett